It's now 2018 and I've set (or reset) my goals for the upcoming year, including my video game aspirations.  The new year has so far included it's challenges but I remain hopeful.

Stop Buying So Many Games

At this point, I own nearly every game that I want to play (minus Nier: Automata) but I never get enough sleep. 

Seriously. My work days are long and I've more games than I've time to play. Even on sale, a dollar spent on a video game that I don't play is a dollar I could've otherwise spent (or saved). My last game purchase was Observer during Xbox's recent winter sale (in 2017). I'm not sure what my first game purchase in 2018 will be but I hope to hold onto my newfound savings.

It helps that I don't have a long list of must-play games in 2018. My most hotly anticipated title is Insomniac Game's Spider-Man. Not only for an original story that include Miles Morales (the Spider-Man after the death of Peter Parker but in Marvel's multi-verse there are a whole lot of Spider-Mans). Also for Insomniac Game's unique resume with Ratchet and Clank as well as Sunset Overdrive for creating solid Spider-Man action gameplay. In my wildest dreams, Insomniac is is to Spider-Man as Rocksteady Studios is to Batman.  

Other than Spider-Man, I'll be awaiting State of Decay 2 and the final season of Telltale Game's The Walking Dead. Luckily with Dying Light in my backlog my zombie thirst will be quenched in the meantime. With few temptations and ownership of most of the games that I want to play, it's truly time to focus on my backlog and to appreciate all the dollars that I spent acquiring it.

Finish Started Games

Observer was the last of my "must haves," I can't deny the pull of cyberpunk and Blade Runner 2049 was such a disappointment. 

My busy schedule often results in nighttime gaming sessions and/or opportunities to play for 30-60 minutes. Those constraints make multiplayer matches, mainly Overwatch, preferable rather than feeling that I didn't make meaningful progress in a game's campaign. As a result, my unfinished games are overwhelmingly RPGs and yet I keep starting new games.

I enthusiastically begin RPGs but then my schedule becomes overwhelming and I practically cease playing games for a time except for the occasional multiplayer match. Then when I've more time again rather than relearning a game's story and mechanics, I oftentimes start a new game.

Case in point, despite sinking dozens of hours into Fallout 4 I've never completed the main campaign. Add-in the campaign expansions as well as base and robot building, I've so much left to play. Similarly, Mass Effect: Andromeda isn't a perfect game but I enjoy the space adventure game that it is. My biggest obstacles for completing the game is that aspects of the game's narrative don't make logical sense to me and that UI decisions such as hiding the map in the menus are frustrating.

Vote With My Dollar

Last time I logged in I spent a long time looking for a randomly generated event in a quest line only to realize that it had spawned in an expansion's location that I hadn't traveled to yet. 

Gaming's hot topic right now is microstransactions in purchased games with the biggest offenders being season passes and microtransactions within an already purchased game. Overwatch has made me come the closest to shelling out my actual dollars for precious loot crates in pursuit of time-limited character skins. Thus far, I've held strong.

After watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi I was itching to play Star Wars Battlefront 2 because playing the beta was the closest I've come to feeling as if I'm actually in a Star Wars fight. I've stayed strong because I cannot endorse pay-to-win features in a purchased game. Even with the microtransactions suspended by EA, the loot boxes are so ingrained into the gameplay that I need to know that ultimate the in-game economy is not meant to squeeze more dollars out of me. Similarly, Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War included microtransactions in a single player game as well as separately purchased expansions. Add-in that the character Shelob, a Great Spider, was changed into a "sexy" human woman. The game simply made too uncomfortable to purchase it.

Admittedly, I bought Destiny 2 and I'm struggling with that decision. I spent a lot of time in the original Destiny and I mostly enjoyed it. During Destiny's lifespan Bungie constantly reworked the game and even if I didn't agree with every decision I felt that I could trust Bungie in the franchise's sequel. Clearly, that trust was misplaced. Personally, my biggest complaints are that multiple features that Bungie spent years developing into Destiny were not brought over into the sequel, such as the cooperative horde-type mode of Prison of the Elders, and the misuse of the Eververse. Bungie is working hard to address player concerns and the recent Development Update was a positive step forward but I also need to see player friendly changes happen.

Additionally, I've stayed away from games with known subtitle problems. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus are the main two.

Write About Video Games

No matter what I always return to playing video games. 

The past couple of years have been undeniably difficult both professionally and personally. It's been hard to find the time to play, much less write about, video games. A big aspect of playing video games is sharing the experience. I miss writing about games and I will try my hardest (again) to return to it. I've even tentatively begun playing games with others by using a microphone in Overwatch and trying out Xbox's Groups feature. Games are just fun when shared.

Thank you for spending time that you could've been playing games here reading about games.

What's your top gaming resolution?

Are there any reasons that you don't buy a video game?